Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lighthouse: A Quick One

I'm trying to keep lots of commitments right now...the most important of them being to get to bed at a decent time. So, to that end...this is going to be a quick one.

I did pretty well at getting up early last week, but this week, I'm actually going to DO something with that time, instead of sitting on the couch, willing myself not to go back to bed.

I'm starting a whole body cleanse tomorrow (Garden of Life), because I feel like my feet are made of lead, and that's generally a good indication that I need to do a liver detox. In a couple of days, I'm going to feel like crap...but, the day after that...I'll be ROCKIN'! If you've never done one, I highly recommend's easy, necessary, and you'll feel amazing.

I had a great workout this morning, and a few of them last week! In trying to be more faithful to the things I need to do for myself...that one's a doozie! Good new knees are holding up remarkably pain, no weakness! Thank GOD! The runs are every other day, right now, and Heather and I have scheduled a 5k for October 24 in Houston. Wish me luck!

Well, that's just a few updates. I have more profound posts up my sleeve, but for today, since I'm short on time, I need to go to bed, and I'm putting several things into practice before I write about them...I decided it would be fun to just post about small victories, for once.

Sometimes, you just have to pat yourself on the back a little:)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Soaking in the Moment

Rain was falling outside, the room was very quiet.

An acoustic guitar played softly in the background, while I melted into my husband's side...tears streaming down my face.

What a beautiful moment we had at the end of the marriage conference this afternoon. It was just a quiet moment to marinate in each other, and feel roots winding ever deeper into our life together.

As I listened to the soft rain and Brandon's heartbeat, I was overwhelmed by the gratitude...that I am in a marriage that is rich, that I am in love with the man that I partnered with for this lifetime...

...that God cares enough about me to give me this space to reach my full potential, to be protected and holy; a man willing to be the chisel to the sculpture that is me, and the security to let go and have fun with him, while we walk this world together.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Whole Marriage: Cultivation

Marriage is like a garden. It needs to be cultivated...tended, protected, watered, and fed.

It's not enough to just get married. That marriage needs to be grown.

So often, people's marriages fall apart, and it's not hard to understand why. More effort is putting into what to wear in the morning, or cleaning out the car, than is put into the care of relationship...especially a marriage relationship. I've seen this over and over...people feeling like their marriages are over, because they don't understand this very simple fact. It cannot be overstated that continuing to live in the same set of behaviors, the same mentalities, is in no way "trying". Trying implies action. Do something!

randon and I have a pretty solid marriage...but, that's as a result of some regular maintenance. We continue those efforts tonight...we're going to a marriage conference at our church called "loveFORlife." We like to feed our relationship in this way...we go to about 2 of these types of conferences a year. It's such a refreshing experience...and one that is about re-centering your relationship...nothing else. Division of labor, parenting, financial partnership, careers...these things mean nothing if your marriage is falling apart...and synergystically, all those things tend to flourish if your relationship is solid. It's so unbelievably important to give your relationship some undivided attention...

Resources we use:
Marriage Today - we've been to 3 of these conferences, and they are worth every single minute!
Pantego Bible Church - this is our church, and the marriage conference is tonight and tomorrow morning:) I can't wait!
Power of a Praying Wife/Husband by Stormie O'Martian
The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
Marriage Missions, I'll be spending my weekend tending my marriage.

What will you be doing?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Food for Thought

I keep getting asked the question "Why whole food?" That question is so loaded...and the answer is even heavier. So, I've decided that I'm going to begin with presenting everyone with the same thing that got me interested...information from outside sources...people who have been doing this a long time, and are more adept at bringing the information down to a concise and efficient form. I will be exploring my answer further...but, until then, I will be posting as much educational material as I can, so that all of you can have access to what I'm seeing.

One Last Thing!...

I am now a full-fledged member of Slow Food USA. This is the best organization in the world for the Real Food Effort...heck! They STARTED it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stepping to the Edge of the Nest

Some time ago, we realized that our little boy was in desperate need of some group interaction. Part of me just wants to keep him with me, every day, for the rest of my life. The other part...the part that began training him to leave me, from the very first day I got him...knows full well that this outgoing, adventurous, precocious little spirit needs community. He needs to begin grasping what it is to be under someone else's instruction, to grow socially, to have interaction, to cultivate lift his wings, and prepare for flight. I know it's just the first step, but it's still profound. He's been fighting for independence since he was an infant. He is tenacious about his own self-sufficiency, and about his own abilities. So, in that spirit, we signed him up for soccer...and, Mother's Day Out a couple of days a week. All of this happened at once, so our week was full of firsts...

{first soccer practice}

{first team warm up}

{first soccer game}

{first day of "school"}

I felt a little silly shedding tears over Mother's Day Out, but it was more than that. It was just the first in a long line of experiences that draw me closer to the day when I'll be waving goodbye to him, as he goes off to college, gets married, becomes a a man. 14 years isn't very's already been almost 4. I have to savor every moment.

Know the feeling?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lighthouses?...and a Challenge!

Ugh! Well, as you can easily see, I am finding it very difficult to get this blog done during the week. I'm trying...I really am. It's hard to write about working toward a whole life, when your life seems to be getting only further away from whole! It's OK...we'll get there. Even when we do, it's always going to be a practice in maintaining it. Family is fine...however, the no house issue is exploding like a volcano. I'm praying that the problem will be resolved this week...please pray with me, if you do!? I need a place to put away my stuff!

Every time I do one of these Monday posts, I write the title "Me Mondays", and I cringe a little. I really don't like that title. As I was weighing the issue of what I'm trying to accomplish with these posts, dedicated to our mother-hearts, and how to better be the barometer for our family's environments, I wanted to find a different name for them. For me, needing to keep my own emotions and mental state on my radar, is personified in my mind by fog...needing to see through it, break through it, and stay connected to land. So often, these days, I feel lost at sea...tossed this way and that, and not having a place to land...not having a harbor to pull into. So, in that spirit, I think of these Monday posts as reminders to keep my eyes on the horizon...where there might be a lighthouse to guide my way. So, the new Monday post moniker is going to be Lighthouses. Anyone care to weigh in?

One of the major complaints about motherhood, and all-round womanhood, is that we don't have time to take care of ourselves. I don't know a single woman who faithfully attends to her own spirit, body, and mind, before she attends to that of her family, or others in her life. The best way to do that, is to do it first thing in the begin your day by centering yourself around the practices that help you achieve optimal wellness...spiritually, mentally, and physically. Since I am clearly not adept at this behavior, I am taking a challenge this week, as outlined by a fellow mom blogger...though she is evermore helpful, relevant, and experienced! It's something I feel really strongly about, in our journey to wholeness, so I want all of you to do it with me, if you have issues in this area, as well. I dare say, most of us deal with it! So, do yourself a favor, and go read all the details, HERE. Inspired to Action is one of my favorite blogs! I know you'll love reading her practical advice on how to live life on purpose!

This week, I'll be finding a house, moving another step closer to being a whole mom, whole wife, whole sister, whole friend, whole me. I invite you all to practice being more deliberate with me. So...go to bed at a decent hour tonight, and join me this week, as we maximize our mornings! I want to hear how it goes:)

God Bless all of you! Thanks for continuing to read my means a lot to me:)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me Mondays: Is Tom Cruise My Brother?

I think maybe I'll call these sessions the Me Mondays: After Dark posts. I mean...technically it's Tuesday morning, but I haven't been to sleep, yet, so in my mind, it's still Monday. I think it's high time I did a post about going to bed at a decent hour...since clearly, these days, I do not.

That actually brings me to my topic, today.

Have you ever had one of those days, when you catch a glimpse of yourself, in the mirror, and you ask the reflection..."where have you been?" I am having one of those long stretches where I get out of the shower, run a brush through my wet hair, put moisturizer on my face, and don't look at myself again, until the next morning. Even then, it's only to check that I'm actually brushing my teeth, and not shoving a toothbrush in my ear, and then it's disheveled ponytail, dusting of baking soda under the arms, and clothing...that I may or may not wear once a week. I don't really have an excuse for this, either. I wish I could tell you that I have mountains of children to get dressed every day...but, the truth is, lately...I'm doing good to get my ONE kid dressed. I'm pretty sure there was a day last week that he never got out of his pajamas. School isn't really kicking my hiney, yet...although, I do anticipate it getting more difficult as the semester progresses. Honestly, I think it's the lack of a house thing.

I am a creature of habit. Scratch that...I'm a creature of system. I have an order and a "way" to almost everything. I am hard pressed to believe that if done in any other way than the way I do things...they just won't be done as well. My husband will tell you, I have thought through every single detail...and there is a method to all of my madness...which actually means that everyone else's haphazard way of living is the actual madness...I'm just, well... right. *Getting the picture? I's a personality thing.'s the kicker: When drawn out of my system...I'm lost. I like to think of it as my "Rain Man-ism". Sounds funny...but, I seriously don't know what to do, I just don't do anything. Before I know it...I haven't gone to bed at a purposeful time...haven't planned meals, haven't been intentional with training my son, spending time with my husband, spending quality time in short, I a oily, frumpy mess running around begging God to just get me through this ONE DAY! And, there's not really anything going on, that's any big deal! Sheesh! I get tired of myself, sometimes.

Our way of life has been very strange for the past 5 1/2 months. However, I am realizing that I have just surrendered to the circumstances...instead of leaning on my Father to guide me out. It's a strange and ridiculous phenomenon when we get so lost inside our own lives that one of the first good habits to go is looking to the One who holds our futures in His hands, on a daily basis. That's like being so hungry that you forget to eat your daily bread. Brilliant.

Does anyone else get weary of having to learn the same lesson time and again? I'm starting to feel like my (almost) 4 year old...just not nearly as cute.

I'm so glad He loves me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spotlight on Adoption: Guest Post

I am breaking my own rules, again, and I have decided to go ahead and post about adoption this week...even though it's the first Tuesday, instead of the last.

Adoption is a scary and unsure thing. It is something that not everyone can relate to. For me, it was a time in my life, where, if I asked someone for some reassurance, I could tell that they couldn't give me any that was genuine...because they had never been there...they actually didn't KNOW if everything was going to be OK. I treasure the time, now...because, it taught me my first and greatest lesson in trusting God. I had to learn that one for real! However, at the time, it was terrifying, and there were few I could turn to. There was one person, however, who knew exactly how I felt... and she came to be a mentor and God-given comfort for me. Her son and daughter-in-law are 2 of our most treasured friends in this life...more like family, really. A while back, I asked her to share her feelings and thoughts on our particular journey to motherhood, to be published on this blog. Her name is Kay...and at long last...these are her thoughts:

When Aleisha asked me to share something on adoption and gave me complete freedom, I really couldn’t decide where to start. As the adoptive mother of two, who are both now adults, I have had plenty of thoughts on adoption over the years.

First of all, to me adoption is a miracle of the most special kind. No, there is no physical labor. But is there labor?-- yes there is. When you are having a baby the natural way, you have a pretty good idea you’ll be a mother in approximately nine months. When you are having a baby by adoption, you may know nine months ahead of time, or you may wait for several years. Then when you finally get “the call”, you are in what I call emotional labor, which believe me can be pretty intense, and just a step away from insanity at times.

And the moment each of my children were placed in my arms, I can honestly say they were mine. Bonding doesn’t happen instantly with everyone, there are no rules about it.

I just know when I have been asked by well-meaning friends and sometimes by well-meaning strangers, “ Are you going to let them meet their real mother?” I want to remind them of the children’s story about the Velveteen Rabbit and what it means to be real. For the rabbit, it meant that his fur got rubbed off and he looked pretty ratty looking. His eyes might have been rubbed off (I don’t remember all the story), and he got awfully tattered. It’s kind of the same way with an adoptive mother. I got made real by getting thrown up on, spit up on, staying up 24 hours at a time to be the comforter to my sick child, etc. etc. –you get the idea. So I always tell whoever asks me, “ I am the real mother.” Being an adoptive mom is not being some kind of very special baby sitter, until the real mother comes back. Being an adoptive mother is being GIVEN the privilege of being a real mom. So what does that leave for the birth mother? For me, it meant an incredible sense of gratefulness and thankfulness to each of two young ladies who made what had to be an almost unbearably painful, yet exquisitely loving decision to give the gift of motherhood to someone like me. The story in the Bible ( King Solomon) of how the real mother was willing to give up her child so he could live tells it so much better than I can. I have had the opportunity to meet my son’s birth mother and to do what I longed to do for years--- say “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Those words seem so inadequate, but they were all I had. And as we hugged and cried, she honored me by saying those same words back to me—“Thank you for being my son’s mother.” I hope one day to get to meet my daughter’s birth mother and tell her thank you too. I always think of her on my daughter’s birthday and know she is wondering how the tiny little girl she gave birth to twenty-eight years ago is doing. And I long to tell her, “ She is doing great, she is an incredible person, and I am so, so blessed to be her mother. Thank you.” Maybe one day, I will get that chance.

The other question that well-meaning friends and sometimes well-meaning strangers would ask me was the most puzzling of all. When my children were small they would say( in whispered tones), “ Are you going to TELL them they are ADOPTED?” My answer always was, “ I never thought there was anything so terrible or dark about the truth. Yes, they will be told.” And they were. When they were each about two years old, I made each of them a little story book about how much Mommy and Daddy wanted a baby, how we prayed, and how God chose the very baby we were supposed to have through adoption.” Is that just a children’s story? Not to me, it’s not, it is God’s truth. Each one of my children was chosen for me as surely as if they had grown inside me.

Hope that my random thoughts have encouraged or blessed someone today.


Thank you, Kay...for everything...this beautiful post, your amazing heart...for raising an amazing man, so that he would marry an amazing woman; for being an ear and a comfort during our adoption; for making us one of those sweet books, so that we would also be able to share our experience with our son...and for being a vessel of God's love...what a wonderful legacy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Me Monday: Prodigal

Well...I have a ton of catching up to do.

First of all...Happy Labor Day!
Labor Day is always pretty cool for me, because it always comes around my birthday. Actually, every few years, my birthday is ON Labor Day. If you want to get technical...the actual day of my birth was ON Labor Day., if someone saw my mom on Labor Day 1977, and said "Happy Labor Day, to you, madame!" She'd be like...."seriously! You have no idea. Labor? Yes, as a matter of fact! Happy?...I don't know...check with me in a few hours!"

This brings me to my next point. This year, my birthday was on the day BEFORE Labor Day. You won't find me complaining, though...I love having a birthday smack dab in the middle of a long weekend! Ah, the birthday. I've never been one who's too hung up on the getting older thing, or worried about another birthday. I like them...and, this year was no exception. I turned 33, yesterday, and I have to say...I feel just fine about it. There are, however, some irksome things happening...such as the insatiable gray hair issue that I adopted during my 33rd trip around the sun. Seriously...couldn't we have an Aging Counsel meeting, and ban the start of gray hairs until 37 or 38? I don't take kindly to facing the music about my vow to grow old gracefully, this early in the game. I think I may have to reconsider my position on hair color. Especially since the chick who cuts my son's hair told me I looked old and drab the other day...Yowza!! She's hilarious...and, I suppose I have highlights on the horizon:) Oh well...NO BOTOX, though! Good grief...if I have a post in 5 years that states a new position on that...well, you have my full permission to come and give me a good slap upside the head! So...thirty-three...

It's when I started school, again. There are good things and bad things about that one. I realize that my fears about being old in school are really no big deal. However, I find it infinitely more difficult to stomach attitudes and ridiculous fashion trends. I just see everything from another perspective, now. I realize how much cooler it is to buck trends than it is to just swim in a sea of sameness...especially when that "sameness" is ghastly!
*Let it be said that "skinny jeans" should only be worn by "skinny" people. If you happen to be a size 18-20, and you are wearing jeans that are extremely tight around your ankles...the only fashion statement you are making is a clear cut understanding about the width of your rear-end. It might even be more flattering to paint all your measurements on a sandwich board and wear that around the school. Please. STOP!! YOU LOOK LIKE AN ICE CREAM CONE!!!

I beg your pardons.

Anyway - I have completely messed up my illustrious and regular running streak...but, have not given up. I realize that this is the point at which I've always stopped...when I have "too much" going on in my life. There is never going to be a point when I say..."yep. Looks like this is about when everything will magically start falling right in line with my schedule and my energy level...guess I'll start doing what I need to do to make myself healthy." Heather and I talked about the fact that this is the actual training...the actual lesson to be learned, here. We will be masters at time stewardship and follow through by the time this is all said and done...I just know it:)

Speaking that I know what to expect from my school work load...I am hoping to be more regular with my posts. As I've stated before...this is what I actually WANT to, I will do my very best to do it every day. However, if I don't...well, I forgive myself ahead of time:)

I hope you do, too!

Happy Labor Day....can't you feel the fall coming?


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